took care never to ask a favor at an inopportune time, nor when it was annoying to Caesar. And hedisplayed not a few sparks of kindness and natural intelligence.
Caesar wished Octavius to have the experience of directing the exhibition of theatrical productions(for there were two theaters, the one Roman, over which he himself had charge, and the other Greek).This he turned over to the care of Octavius. The latter, wishing to exhibit interest and benevolence inthe matter, even on the hottest and longest days, never left his post before the end of the play; with theresult that he fell ill, for he was young and unaccustomed to toil. Being very ill, every one feltconsiderable apprehension regarding him, lest a constitution such as his might suffer some mishap, andCaesar most of all. Accordingly, every day he either called himself and encouraged him or else sentfriends to do so, and he kept physicians in continuous attendance. On one occasion word was broughtto him while he was dining that Octavius was in a state of collapse and dangerously ill. He sprang upand ran barefooted to the place where the patient was, and in great anxiety and with great emotionquestioned the physicians, and he sat down by the bedside himself. When Octavius' full recovery was brought about, he showed much joy.
While Octavius was convalescent, still weak physically though entirely out of danger, Caesar hadto take the field on an expedition in which he had previously the intention of taking the boy. Thishowever he could not now do on account of his attack of sickness. Accordingly, he left him behind inthe care of a number of persons who were to take particular charge of his mode of life; and givingorders that if Octavius should grow strong enough, he was to follow him, he went off to the war. Theeldest son of Pompeius Magnus had got together a great force in a short time, contrary to theexpectations of everyone, with the intention of avenging his father's death, and, if possible, of retrieving his father's defeat. Octavius, left behind in Rome, in the first place gave his attention togaining as much physical strength as possible, and soon he was sufficiently robust. Then he set outfrom home toward the army, according to his uncle's instructions (for that is what he called him). Manywere eager to accompany him on account of his great promise but he rejected them all, even his mother herself, and selecting the speediest and strongest of his servants he hastened on his journey and withincredible dispatch he covered the long road and approached Caesar, who had already completed thewhole war in the space of seven months.
When Octavius reached Tarraco it was hard to believe that he had managed to arrive in so great atumult of war. Not finding Caesar there, he had to endure more trouble and danger. He caught up withCaesar in Spain near the city of Calpia. Caesar embraced him as a son and welcomed him, for he hadleft him at home, ill, and he now unexpectedly saw him safe from both enemies and brigands. In fact,he did not let him go from him, but he kept him at his own quarters and mess. He commended his zealand intelligence, inasmuch as he was the first of those who had set out from Rome to arrive. And hemade the point of asking him in conversation, for he was anxious to make a trial of his understanding;and finding that he was sagacious, intelligent, and concise in his replies and that he always answered tothe point, his esteem and affection for him increased. After this they had to sail for Carthago Nova, andarrangements were made whereby Octavius embarked in the same boat as Caesar, with five slaves, but,out of affection, he took three of his companions aboard in addition to the slaves, though he feared thatCaesar would be angry when he found this out. However, the reverse was the case, for Caesar was pleased in that Octavius was fond of his comrades and he commended him because he always liked tohave present with him men who were observant and who tried to attain to excellence; and because hewas already giving no little thought to gaining a good reputation at home.
Caesar duly arrived at Carthago Nova, intending to meet with those who were in need of him. Agreat many came to see him, some for the purpose of settling any differences they might have had withcertain persons, others because of matters of civil administration, others in order to obtain the rewardsfor deeds of courage which they had performed. Regarding these matters he gave them audience. Many